Lupin the 3rd VS. Detective Conan: The Movie—Turbo Engine Skateboard VS. Walther P38

(Watch for free on Hulu)

narutaki_icon_4040 It is rather hard to believe that we have only recently seen an official team-up of Detective Conan and Lupin the 3rd considering both have been mega-franchises for so long. Detective Conan movies are already known for their splashy, high-stakes situations and a penchant for putting in as many characters from the Conan universe as they can. So doubling up by adding the all-star cast of Lupin the 3rd just sounds so right.

Despite the obvious love that Japan has for these characters, they have both only had middling success stateside with the exception of something like The Castle of Cagliostro. To say that seeing the Lupin the 3rd VS. Detective Conan: The Movie streaming was a shock would be a huge understatement. This film is not licensed by an American company and probably won’t be. Plus, unlike TV series, theatrical anime is still a lot less likely to be streamed so we are constantly missing out on titles.

hisui_icon_4040 If you pay attention to any sort of comic book news you will notice people endlessly debating the merits of a Batman VS. Superman movie. I mostly bring that up not so the comments can be a quagmire of angry nerds but because it shows a desire for fans to see their favorite characters interact. That is the reason that comics crossovers sell so well, people makes games like Super Robot Wars, and odd things like a SuperWhoLock fandom exists. Anime and manga is no exception. CLAMP and Go Nagai have often done this with their own series. One Piece and Toriko as well as Fairy Tail and Yankee-kun to Megane-chan have had joint adventures. There was even a Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA crossover but the less you think about that the better. The characters of Nisekoi and My Love Story!! have even officially met at one point in time. And this is all outside of fan-fiction which breaks any and all barriers.

But rarely have two properties has an almost gravitational pull like that of Lupin the 3rd and Detective Conan. They are practically designed to fit together seamlessly. Lupin is the world’s most notorious thief and Conan is secretly the world’s greatest detective. Ever since Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late there has been a rivalry phantom thieves and detectives so it is only natural for them to clash. While Conan already has Magic Kaito (or considering the order in which they were created maybe I should say Magic Kaito already has Conan) it hardly diminishes the excitement over this clash. Like the old saw of who would win in a fight between Superman and Goku I think fans of either franchise would be curious to see who would come out on top.

Is Conan smarter than the thief with many-colored jackets or is the Lupin’s Walther P38 more dangerous than the boy detective’s wit?

Continue reading

S.W.A.T. Reviews: Spring 2012 Pt. 4

The premise of these reviews is simple: watch the first episode of a series and then immediately sit down to record a review mini-podcast. The reviews are five- to ten-minutes long and entirely off the cuff. As always we only review new shows (so no sequels or continuations) and try to avoid anything that just looks outright awful. Here are 6 more from the new season:

RSS Feed     –     iTunes Feed

Listen – Episode 1 of Saint Seiya Omega from Toei Animation with the opening “Pegasus Fantasy ver.Ω” by MAKE-UP w/ Shoko Nakagawa and is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Episode 1 of Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine from Po10tial and TMS Entertainment with the opening “New Wuthering Heights” by Naruyoshi Kikuchi and is streaming on Nico Nico.

Listen – Episode 1 of Polar Bear Cafe from Pierrot with the opening “Boku no Invitation” by JP and is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Episode 1 of Gakkatsu from Fanworks and the NHK.

Listen – Episode 1 of Kuroko’s Basketball from Production I.G with the opening “Can Do” by GRANRODEO and is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Episode 1 of Accel World from Sunrise with the opening “Chase the world” by May’n and is streaming on Hulu.

Ongoing Investigations: Case #081

hisuicon Waking Sleeping Beauty is a fascinating documentary highlighting the renaissance of Disney animation from 1984 and 1994. It goes in depth on how the perfect storm cam together to create amazing Disney films like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, and the Little Mermaid after it seemed like Disney animation was dying. The studio went from putting out box-office bombs to having Beauty and the Beast nominated for Best Picture by the Academy Awards. The film shows how the triumvirate of Roy Disney, Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg were all so instrumental in the success of these movies and how the tensions between them would eventually kill the renaissance as easily as they built it. The film uses archival footage, sketches, and caricatures from the artists of the time to ground the documentary in the period to great effect. It goes to show how luck plays just as much of a part in the creation of a great film as hard work does. Amazingly insightful and extremely well-executed. I think parallels could be made with the most recent rise and fall of anime as well for a clever soul out there.

What struck me as very unique about the story of Waking Sleeping Beauty is the focus on the artists, directors, musicians, and all other manners of the creation process rather than the infamous infighting between Roy, Michael, and Jeffery that has already been well-documented. This documentary goes deeper and really shows the hard-work of all those people who rarely made it into the newspaper. The way that it is cut together with only old footage much of which is very off the cuff like home movies (the only things that are new are some of the voiceovers) really helps it to feel grounded in reality and not like some glossy corporate highlights reel. What I found truly incredible about this 10 year journey was the proof of fate, that sometimes the right people come together at the right time and it can never be duplicated because the factors were so diverse. That isn’t to say that hard-work and dedication isn’t the most important part of this project, it’s central to what these animators especially went through to perfect these films, but there is a little bit of magic in these people getting together and making it all happen. Waking Sleeping Beauty is insightful, funny, moving, and may make you believe in Disney magic.

Continue reading